It’s been a while since we’ve spoken. I know, I know, but I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ve just been dealing with the OTHER Big Thing in my life right now. Yeah, the one that starts with a C the size of Wisconsin. That one. But I’m still writing, though not as much as I’d like. And I’m still around if you ever feel like shooting me an email, friending me on Facebook, or tweeting @me. I’ve gone off the grid a little bit, and I’m not as easy to talk to these days, but I do appreicate every kind word, email, and tweet I’ve received. They mean worlds to me. Knowing that people still think of me and wish me well is an enormous gift, one I only hope I can repay someday. But enough of this sappy garbage. Onto the post in question. My friend Lincoln Crisler tagged me in his Next Big Thing post last week. So I am left with no choice but to pick up and carry the torch. I hope you enjoy my responses.
1) What is the working title of your next book?
Six Feet Underwater
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
I’ve been dealing with a lot of heavy emotional stuff lately. Not just the cancer thing, but also worries over what treatment will do to my body and my ability to have children in the future, as well as a bunch of crap relating to my ex/the current legal battle I am embroiled in with him. I’ve been reading nonfiction and some metafiction recently, and somewhere along the line it sort of congealed in my brain that a good way to sort through all of that junk was to sort of put it on someone else. So I created a fictional woman going through some of the same struggles I did/am. It became kind of a repository for my feelings and a way to look at them objectively and figure out where to go from there. Over time, it has evolved into, I think, an interesting almost/barely true narrative.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
That’s tough. It’s not exactly fiction, but it’s not really autobiographical, either. Sure, there are some parts that are suspenseful, thrilling, and even horrific, but they aren’t the kind of suspenses, thrills, or horrors people are used to from those genres, more the every day kind that everyone is exposed to at one point or another. So, I’m not really sure where it would fit, to tell the truth.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Gracie, my main character and pseudo self, would best be played by someone sweet and innocent, as that’s more the point of view she takes in the work itself. I’m picturing Isla Fisher or Amanda Seyfried. I see Zachary Quinto as the antagonist. Gracie’s best friend would be harder to cast. Someone with a good sense of comedic timing, but also the ability to come off as naive and supporting. Perhaps Jenna Fischer, Mary Lynn Rajskub, or Kristen Schaal.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Love, loss, betrayal and the horrors of everyday life.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Well, considering I’m not exactly done yet…
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Oooh, again, tough. A smattering of Brian Keene’s Hail Saten, a touch of Jen Lancaster, even a bit of Doctor Phil.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Me, I guess. The best way I can sum it up is that it’s the book I needed to write. It may honestly never see the light of day, making this whole thing somewhat irrelevant, but it has helped me tremendously to work on it, to sort things out in my head, to address things I left unresolved. So I did it for me, for my sanity, for my future and my own personal sense of self.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
This story is a lot more raw and real than anything else I’ve ever written. Instead of giant, throbbing space slugs taking over 1920s street urchins or zombie hordes clamoring for their next meal, it involves more real horror, dealing with things that most people have probably experienced in their own lives, or may be experiencing now. In a way, that’s a lot harder to tackle. The big things, the scary boogey men, the vampires, monsters, aliens, and beasts, they go away when you turn on the lights. The real horrors are sometimes the things that remain once the darkness has retreated.
So that’s it. That’s what I’m working on. Sort of an update, I guess. At any rate, I was tagged and thus I must tag in return. I’ve chosen my friend and fellow NEHW member Patrick Rahall. Look for his entry on his blog next Wednesday.